Chuy Jr. Ortiz, owner of El Pescador, with TEAMS graduates, Abel “Michael” Delgadillo and Leonardo Magana.
Chuy Jr. Ortiz, owner of El Pescador, with TEAMS graduates, Abel “Michael” Delgadillo and Leonardo Magana.
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Chuy Ortiz, the owner of El Pescador in Fillmore graciously donated not only his restaurant but also all the food and drinks for the Fillmore High TEAMS, (Training and Education for Adults with Moderate to Severe disabilities), inaugural class graduation. The TEAMS program is for students 18-22 with moderate to severe disabilities and is a community based program to help increase independence, life and social skills. With the start of the program 4 years ago this is the classes’ first year of graduates being, Leonardo Magana and Abel “Michael” Delgadillo. There is no formal graduation ceremony for the class and it was decided that they would have their ceremony at El Pescador, a constant supporter in the Fillmore community. With a total of 37 guests including the class, staff, and families of the graduates, Chuy was more than willing and excited to host this event. We would like to thank Chuy and the whole El Pescador team for their kindness, hospitality and continued support of the community and school. Without your support this event would not have been possible, Thank you. Karen Wiksell and the TEAMS program.



VENTURA, CA - In an effort to introduce students to the different facets of public works and nurture interest in civil engineering, Ventura County offers a student internship program with the ultimate goal of students transitioning into professional public works careers.

“For public works, we want to showcase to students what we do, types of jobs, skill set and educational requirements to interest them in pursuing careers such as civil engineering,” said Janice Turner, Director of Ventura County Public Works Agency’s (VCPWA) Central Services Department.

The County offers a paid student internship program, wherein VCPWA departments hire high school and college students who meet certain requirements and expose them to working in a professional environment. The goal is to place them into practical and meaningful project assignments where they can obtain real-world experience; different VCPWA departments will develop specific projects on which the students will work.

“We also outreach to high schools and CONTINUED »


NASA scientists will help teachers and students better understand climate change and the science behind it in grant-funded collaboration
California State University Channel Islands
California State University Channel Islands

Camarillo, CA - CSU Channel Islands (CI) will hold its second Summer Climate Science Institute and Camp, which will bring together NASA scientists, climate science experts, local teachers and students for seven days of learning about climate change and the science behind it.

The Teacher Institute kicks off Monday, June 24. Eighteen science teachers from the Oxnard Union High School District, Ventura Unified School District, and Santa Paula High School will work with internationally renowned climate scientists and curriculum resource developers throughout the week to better understand climate change and how to incorporate NASA satellite data, research and curriculum in the classroom.

The Student Summer Camp will bring about 45 students to the CI campus Monday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 2, for climate science instruction and self-guided scientific inquiry.

The Summer Institute and CONTINUED »


FHS Concert Band at the Disney Youth Arts Recording Session Workshop.
FHS Concert Band at the Disney Youth Arts Recording Session Workshop.
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On Thursday May 30, the FHS Concert Band participated in the Disney Youth Arts Recording Session Workshop. The students had the opportunity to record soundtrack music to various Disney movies and learned about the process of working in the studio setting as professional musicians. The conductor for the session was Sal Lozano, a well known studio musician and performer in the Los Angeles area. The band members only had a brief rehearsal before recording scenes from “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Beauty and the Beast” as well as The Disney theme music. In the end, the band was provided with a DVD of the movie scenes with FHS providing the soundtrack. It was a great experience for the band members. The band has had a busy year with over fifteen performances at various events.


Lexie Gonzales, Sespe School kindergarten, stands next to her experiment, “Can You Change the Color of a Flower Using Fruits and Vegetables?”  Using the scientific method and “green” chemicals, Lexie is on track for a promising future.
Lexie Gonzales, Sespe School kindergarten, stands next to her experiment, “Can You Change the Color of a Flower Using Fruits and Vegetables?” Using the scientific method and “green” chemicals, Lexie is on track for a promising future.
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The road to academic excellence starts early in Fillmore Unified School District

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, the first of the four FUSD elementary school science fairs was held at Sespe School. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade showed off their science knowledge in experiments, scientific models and displays. The students had to demonstrate their understanding of the scientific method and explain their project to the panel of judges including two teachers and the principal who questioned them during the judging. Said Cody Spore, first grade student, “My project was complicated, but it was also fun!” Each participant received a ribbon. In addition to individual student entries, there were a few class projects.

Mr. Bill Raymond, the science teacher at the four Fillmore/Piru elementary schools, is in charge of all the science fairs. Said Raymond, “It is crucial to encourage interest and curiosity in science at an early age.” The enthusiasm for science was high among students and parents at the science fair. Mr. Scott Carroll, Sespe School principal said, “The science fair is part of the emphasis in STEMs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education for our students in Fillmore. I was pleased with the number of participants and the quality of the projects”

Mountain Vista (May 30), San Cayetano (May 31) and Piru (June 5) will hold a science fair soon. If you want to see our local scholars in action, stop by the schools and our bright Fillmore students will demonstrate their understanding of science. Fillmore Middle School science teachers, Emily DuBois and Amy McKewon, substitute for Ashley McClain, held a science fair in their classes on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Congratulations to all the science fair participants and their parents!



Fillmore High School needs your help! – If you are interested in serving on the FHS School Site Council, please call or email Barbara Lemons at or 524-6103. Three parent/community members are selected by the parents. Ballots will be sent to parents in the 2013-2014 Registration Packet. Please contact Mrs. Lemons by Monday, June 3, 2013.


Dr. Greg Gillespie has been named the new President of Ventura College effective summer 2013 pending final contract negotiations. With over 19 years’ experience in the community college system, Dr. Gillespie has served as a faculty member, Director, Dean, and Vice President at four different community colleges ranging from rural to urban with direct experience in instruction, administrative services, and student services. Dr. Gillespie is presently Vice President for Instruction and Student Services at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. He will replace the current President of Ventura College, Dr. Robin Calote, who is retiring June 30, 2013.

“I am pleased Dr. Gillespie will be joining us at the District and leading Ventura College,” commented Dr. Jamillah Moore, Chancellor, Ventura County Community College District. “He is a visionary leader with broad experience and has a unique understanding of the challenges facing students and faculty in the community college system of California. I am confident he will serve Ventura College employees and students well with his collaborative and communicative style.”

Dr. Gillespie grew up near Yakima, Washington, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy (Crop Science) from Washington State University and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in the same discipline from North Dakota State University.


Los Olivos, California – May 16, 2013 – California High School Rodeo Association (CHSRA) District 7 today announced qualifiers for the 2013 Junior High School State Finals and 2013 High School State Finals. These annual events provide an opportunity for top performers from each of the nine CHSRA districts to compete at the state level. Top-performing participants at the California state finals qualify to participate in the National High School Finals Rodeo and the National Junior High Finals Rodeo this summer.

“The district’s top five rodeo athletes in each event qualify for state finals, so it’s quite an accomplishment to make the state finals team,” said Ed Hamer, District 7 adult board president. “We’re proud of the hard work and the time these young people have put into their sport, and we know they will do an outstanding job of representing our district in the state competitions.”

CHSRA Junior High State CONTINUED »


AZUSA, CA - Fillmore resident Jacob Zellmer graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies on Sat., May 4, 2013, and joined approximately 1,450 graduates at the spring commencement ceremonies.

Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical, Christian university committed to God First and excellence in higher education. With 57 bachelor's degrees, 40 master's degrees, 10 credentials, 9 doctoral programs, and 14 certificates, the university offers its more than 10,000 students a quality education on campus, online, and at seven regional centers throughout Southern California.


As the Santa Clara River flows 100 miles towards the ocean, it passes through the Fillmore Unified School District’s School Farm property. This year the School District began a program for students to visit the river and learn about this important habitat and resource in the community. The goals of the program are to provide students opportunities to visit and learn about the Santa Clara River, to restore portions of the habitat along the river, and to ultimately increase awareness about the Santa Clara River in the community.

The Santa Clara River Program is funded by a grant from the Santa Clara River Trustee Council in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This year a total of six teachers and their classes participated in the program: Raymond Barrera, from Piru elementary; Kelly Myers, Tonya Gonzalez and Janet Bergamo from Mountain Vista; Kirk Richter Fillmore High School; and Laura Todis from Sierra High School. Each participating teacher received training at a teacher workshop prior to their trip, and brought their class out to the river for an all-day trip.

On each trip students rotated through about 8 stations set up through out the river bottom. The stations were adjusted to the grade-level standards of the students, and all gave students “hands-on” learning opportunities. For example, at one station students looked through magnifying glasses to identify organisms living in the water. At another station student were taught how to use binoculars and field guides to identify birds. Another station gave students the opportunity to be “citizen scientists” and collect data about plants that was actually submitted to a national database.

Ms. Myers was impressed by how much her 3rd grade students gained from the trip. “It honestly was an amazing trip! I cannot believe all that I learned, let alone what the kids learned.”

Students were enthusiastic about what they learned. A second grade student in Mr. Barrera’s class was impressed with how many native species he learned about. “I learned about native birds, bugs, fish, red-tailed hawks, black phoebes, ravens, and salamanders. I also learned about Arroyo toads, Western pond turtles and Western toads.”

A student in Ms. Gonzalez’s third grade class remarked, “I loved learning about plants that Native Americans use. It was cool because some are medicine if you get sick.” Another student in Ms. Gonzalez’s class summed up his experience: “I learned a lot. The insects were magnificent, the plants were extravagant, and the birds were absolutely extraordinary.”

Ms. Myers was specifically excited about how the trips have changed the way her students are able to talk about science. “Their academic language developed going on this trip. For example, they aren't just saying “the river,” they know it is the “Santa Clara River bottom.” The students are using specific vocabulary instead of general. That is exciting, especially for our English language learners.”

Ms. Todis also noticed that the trips have changed the way her students are engaging with science. “These trips have made science relevant to students. For example, instead of just reading about water quality in the classroom, students have been able to collect water samples from the river and actually conduct lab tests in the field to find out about the pH, nutrient content and organisms that live in the water. Students can see that their results contribute to an important picture about the health of the river in their community.”

Also, Ms. Todis is excited about how the trips introduce students to professional biologists. “Working with Fish and Wildlife has exposed students to career opportunities related to science. Some students have been inspired to pursue related careers.” Next year some high school students will work more closely with the biologists as they help run stations at the field trips for younger groups.

Ultimately, one of the goals for this program is for the students who participate to spread their knowledge about how special the Santa Clara River is. Ms. Myers explains, “The best part is that it is our local river. Because it is right here in the community, many of my students have said that they have gone back there and showed their parents/siblings what they learned.” Ms. Myers experienced this within her own family. “My daughter is in my class, and she thoroughly loved the trip and has educated both my husband and 8th grade son. So funny!”

Next year, the program will be expanding to include at least 9 teachers. Each teacher will participate in one workshop in the fall and will bring their class to the river twice (once in the fall and once in the spring). Next year the program will include a few exciting new elements. For example, students will have an opportunity to participate in restoration of native habitat along the river.

Ms. Todis, who helps coordinate the Santa Clara River Program, is excited about the future of this program. “This program continues to take shape and expand. Fillmore students are lucky to have this opportunity and I look forward to helping more teachers bring their students out to the river next year!”

Fillmore High School's New Logo and the Class that Made It. (l-r) (top) Giovanni Arana, Fabian Gutierrea, Ms. Morielli - Dean of Students, Josue Arreloa, Alvaro Maciel, Miguel Banales, Alejandro Gonzalez, Francisco Zepeda, Ernesto Guzman, Cristian Orozco, Mr. Mesfun - Principal, (bottom) Rudy Soria, Cristian Serna, Juan Hernandez, Hugo Magana, Mr. Ricards-Welding Teacher, Mr. Beltran – Construction Teacher, Ruben Camarena, Gustavo Cortez, Yony Murillo, Jaime Gallegos. Photo by KSSP Photographic Studios, Fillmore.
Fillmore High School's New Logo and the Class that Made It. (l-r) (top) Giovanni Arana, Fabian Gutierrea, Ms. Morielli - Dean of Students, Josue Arreloa, Alvaro Maciel, Miguel Banales, Alejandro Gonzalez, Francisco Zepeda, Ernesto Guzman, Cristian Orozco, Mr. Mesfun - Principal, (bottom) Rudy Soria, Cristian Serna, Juan Hernandez, Hugo Magana, Mr. Ricards-Welding Teacher, Mr. Beltran – Construction Teacher, Ruben Camarena, Gustavo Cortez, Yony Murillo, Jaime Gallegos. Photo by KSSP Photographic Studios, Fillmore.
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The front of Fillmore High School has a new look thanks to the talents and efforts of some of its students. Under the guidance of woodshop teacher Mr. Henry Beltran, a team of FHS students embarked on crafting a large version of the Flashes logo. A task that required several months.

Hugo Alberta, one of the students who helped design the newly installed FHS logo, said that he could not wait for his three-month-old nephew to be in high school. "I wanted him to tell his friends that his uncle had something to do with it."

When the logo was complete, it required the District's facilities department to install the logo in front of the main entrance to the campus. Watching his students gingerly remove the panel from a forklift for final placement, Mr. Beltran said that he could see the pride in the his students' eyes.

Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Cancelled and Rescheduled Board Meeting Dates

Cancelled: May 7, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Rescheduled: May 14, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.

Cancelled: May 21, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.
Rescheduled: May 28, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.

Cancelled: June 4, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Rescheduled: June 11, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.

Cancelled: June 18, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.
Rescheduled: June 25, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.


Fillmore Fire
The District would like to thank the City of Fillmore and Ventura County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments for not only their courageous efforts in fighting the April 8/9 fire but also for keeping us up-to-date throughout the night. The health and safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance to us - the ongoing communication with our Fire and Sheriffs professionals provided us the information we needed to know we could safely hold school on April 9th.

Fillmore Middle School Roofing Update
We are pleased that the FMS Gym Roofing Project is progressing on schedule. The tear-off of the old roof took place during spring break and the installation of the new roof began the week of April 8th with a projected completion date of May 31st. We are also moving forward with the design for the roof replacement that will take place this summer of all the remaining buildings at FMS.

Rio Vista Elementary School Opening
The Superintendent and Governing Board are pleased to announce the opening of Rio Vista Elementary School for the 2013-14 school year. The timing of the opening of Rio Vista ES is opportune in that the District will begin the process of modernizing Sespe ES beginning in the 2013-14 school year as well. District administration presented information about the timeline and proposed elementary boundary modifications to the Governing Board at their April 16th meeting. We will continue to update the community as plans move forward.


Fillmore high school has been very busy preparing for state testing and anticipating the annual prom this semester.

Among the numerous other events that have taken place this month, we had the honor of hosting special guest speaker and comedian Ernie G. He has been featured on Comedy Central and is a renowned Hispanic performer. Ernie G gave a very uplifting and humorous presentation focusing on the importance of valuing the sacrifices parents make to give us the opportunity to be educated. He used personal anecdotes to relate to the kids, reaching out to "the little ghetto in all of us". Students left feeling positive about the upcoming state test, and with a sense of appreciation for our families.


Now a days cowboys are harder to find, you just need to know where to look. Luckily, on Tuesday April 9th, the kids from Sonshine Preschool in Fillmore were able to spend the day, "A Cowboy Day", out on a farm and meet some cowboys and get up close with some farms animals such as Cows, Pigs and some Turkeys. They all gathered at the Fillmore School Farm to watch demonstrations from real life, award winning cowboys Dustin Noblitt and Val Ericson. Dustin and Val rode their horses, Cam and Moonshine and showed the kids how to rope a steer, how to tack up a horse and even did some rope tricks. Stormy, the miniature horse was also in attendance and was grateful for all the petting he received from the kids. Thanks to Joanna VanWhy, the site director for Sonshine Preschool for setting up an amazing day!

Ventura County Grand Jury Report Released

The report is available on the grand jury website:

Commitment to forest management and conservation makes CI one of approximately 150 institutions nationwide to earn the designation; campus to be formally honored at April 22 Earth Extravaganza event
California State University Channel Islands
California State University Channel Islands

Camarillo, CA - CSU Channel Islands (CI) has been named a “Tree Campus USA” for the first time by the Arbor Day Foundation. The award honors CI for its commitment to forest management and conservation and makes it one of approximately 150 institutions nationwide and the first in the 23-campus CSU system to earn the designation.

Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. CI achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

“We are so honored to receive recognition from the Tree Campus USA program,” said Dave Chakraborty, Associate Vice President for Operations, Planning & Construction. “This is an accomplishment that represents just how far our young campus has come. Our Urban Forest Management Plan places sustainability as a top priority. This is vital to our campus' ongoing success, as it provides an ideal environment for research, education, and recreation among the CI community.”

CI’s 1,200-acre campus CONTINUED »

Campus earns national recognition for exemplary community work
California State University Channel Islands
California State University Channel Islands

Camarillo, CA - For the fourth consecutive year, CSU Channel Islands (CI) has earned a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The recognition is the highest national honor a university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Honor Roll is compiled annually by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal government agency that encourages volunteerism and public service, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. CI was one of 690 institutions earning the Honor Roll distinction in 2013.

“We’re pleased to have the community service efforts of our students, staff, faculty and administrators recognized in such a meaningful way,” said President Richard R. Rush. “One of the most important things we can do as a university is educate students to understand that the best leaders are those who serve others.”

Honorees are chosen CONTINUED »

Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

We are pleased to announce that the Fillmore USD Governing Board approved the roofing contract for the FMS Gymnasium to Craig’s Roofing Inc. at its March 19, 2013 Board Meeting. The project is scheduled to begin next Monday, April 1, 2013, and be completed by May 31, 2013.

As with any construction project, there will be a certain amount of noise with the project and we ask for the community’s patience and understanding that it is a short-term project scheduled to be completed by the end of May. We selected April 1st as the starting date since it is Spring Break week and therefore all schools are closed – we want to accomplish as much of the tear-off of the old roof as possible during the first week to minimize the impact of the dust and noise. Although the Fillmore USD building projects are under the jurisdiction of the State of California and not the City of Fillmore, we work in close partnership with the City of Fillmore and will observe all guidelines of the local building ordinances regarding construction activity such as daily start and end times, noise level and dust mitigation, etc.

Although we were able to consolidate various Capital Funds to cover the costs of the Gymnasium roofing project, these are one time funds. The State of California has drastically reduced capital funding to school districts and by consolidating the majority of our capital funds for a single large project this leaves us at risk of having to use the District’s General Fund should we experience other capital needs in the future. In fact, as stated previously, the District is pursuing borrowing Capital Funds to re-roof all the other buildings at FMS, which we are planning to do this summer. Although we will repay that loan through Capital Funds if they are available, the General Fund may need to be used in the repayment of the capital borrowing as well as any emergency projects if there are not sufficient Capital Funds available.

We sincerely appreciate the FMS faculty, staff, administration, students and parents as they have worked cooperatively to make the best of a difficult situation. We are pleased that we are able to move forward with the Gymnasium roof replacement and plan for the roof replacement of the other buildings at FMS this summer. If there are any questions or concerns regarding this project please contact C. Earl Davis, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services at 805-524-6018 or at